2013’s Thor: The Dark World is widely regarded as one of the worst movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s currently the lowest-rated MCU film on Rotten Tomatoes, even coming up short of 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. (That’s genuinely impressive!) Thankfully, though, the movie’s reputation is only as the MCU’s punching bag and not as a career-ruiner for its one-time director Patty Jenkins, who went on to great success as the filmmaker behind DC’s Wonder Woman movies. In a new interview, Jenkins reflects on her brief stint at Marvel, and explains why she’s “super grateful” that she didn’t end up directing Thor: The Dark World.
In a newly-published piece at Vanity Fair, the director talked about how dodging the bullet of directing Thor 2 probably saved her career in the end:
“I did not believe that I could make a good movie out of the script that they were planning on doing. I think it would have been a huge deal—it would have looked like it was my fault. It would’ve looked like, ‘Oh my God, this woman directed it and she missed all these things.’ That was the one time in my career where I really felt like, ‘Do this with [another director] and it’s not going to be a big deal. And maybe they’ll understand it and love it more than I do.’ You can’t do movies you don’t believe in. The only reason to do it would be to prove to people that I could. But it wouldn’t have proved anything if I didn’t succeed. I don’t think that I would have gotten another chance. And so, I’m super grateful.”
Alan Taylor was hired to replace Jenkins on Thor: The Dark World. Despite the movie’s poor critical reception, it made over $644 million worldwide, and Taylor went on to direct Terminator Genisys two years later. If Jenkins had stayed on and delivered an equally flawed movie that earned the same amount at the box office, do you think she would have been handed the keys to another huge franchise? (If you answered “yes,” you haven’t been paying attention to how Hollywood has historically treated female filmmakers.)
Still, Jenkins is thankful that Marvel gave her a chance back in 2011, when few other studios were making moves like that. “I really have nothing but positive things to say about Marvel, because, honestly, they gave me that chance in the first place and it was not en vogue to do so,” she said. But like the rest of us, she’s thrilled the studio eventually found Taika Waititi, who she calls “Thor’s rightful director.”
Check out the rest of the interview here.
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